Grooming Cats: 5 Tips for Brushing your Cat's Coat

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white_cat.jpgNo matter what type of fur your cat has, they all shed. Outdoor cats shed in the spring before they get their summer coat and in the fall before they get their winter coat. Indoor cats tend to shed year round but also shed a bit more during the spring and the fall.

Cat's fur grows in cycles, as the new hair pushes its way up through the hair follicle, the old hair falls out. The fur grows really fast at first then slows down and even stops growing during a resting period. Cats shed their old dead fur when the new hair begins to grow.

Yesterday, I talked about picking the right brush for your cat's fur. Different lengths of fur require different types of brushes or combs. But these 5 tips work for all types of cats.

girl_grooming_cat.jpg1. Find a time to groom your cat when he is relaxed or if he likes to be groomed find a time when you want to reward him. Start brushing with slow, gentle strokes and follow his lead, he'll know which parts of his body need grooming the most.

2. Brush against the natural direction of the growth at first to remove dead hair. This will pull out dandruff, dead skin cells, dead fur, and dust and all sorts of nasty things, but better out than in, so keep brushing against the grain until everything is out or until your cat starts getting restless.

3. Brush with the natural direction of the hair growth to complete the grooming. You'll be able to see the difference, your cat's fur will be much sleeker and even shinier.

Pictures_cats_lint_roller.jpg4. Here's the best tip... don't laugh... use a sticky roller lint remover - you know the ones with the sticky sheets you can roll over your clothes? and then remove the old furry sheet so you have a clean one for the next time? Yeah, roll that over your cat! I'm serious! It gets out all the remaining fur and dust that the brush and comb didn't pick up. If you don't have a lint roller, you can always use a soft damp cloth, but the lint roller is a good investment if you don't already have one.

5. For homes with more than one cat, use a different comb/brush for each cat. Sharing a comb or brush can spread skin diseases, fleas and other itch causing irritants. Besides, cats are a little finicky and if they smell another cat's dandruff on the brush, they may be less inclined to cooperate when it comes time for grooming.

The important this is that you make it fun and relaxing for both of you. Use the time to bond with your cat. Talk to him, pet him in between brushing and even give him treats to reward him.

pictures_cats_groomed.jpgOh and if your cat isn't really excited about grooming, make sure you trim his nails first so you don't end up bleeding. But really, if you are gentle with your cat and careful to follow his lead, you won't have a problem.

If you sense that your cat is getting irritated or frustrated, stop and wait for another time to groom him. But sometimes, cats get into the grooming and they start grabbing at the brush, biting and meowing because they are enjoying it. You have to kind of see what your cat wants. Read more about grooming cats Top 5 tips for a healthy coat.

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